The ASCII couch gag was another good one. This has been a great season for couch gags. And hey, dig the Planet Express ship during the title sequence!
The episode started off slow and picked up with the bully teleconference, the way Homer was raised on strangling, and the whole segment with Kareem. Homer's resulting breakdown was some great stuff ("Aww, you're a tree now?") and I loved Bart's rampage with the tractor.
The crank calls to Moe's turning into crank texts is something that I'm surprised hasn't happened to this point.
Good episode that didn't fall apart at the end, so that's all I can really ask for.
I could not agree mroe with your post - esp. about the severe underuse of the secondary characters. I took all 4 of my kids (9,8,4,3) to a matinee yesterday and they all enjoyed it - espcially the 8 and 4 year old.